In-depth

Case study: Tesco secures its data

Tesco is one of the biggest retailers in the world - we reveal the changes its global operations has gone through concerning security.

Retail is a global business, and you don't get many bigger than Tesco a UK-based international operation that is most known for selling groceries, but has now branched out into areas like financial services and telecoms.

Considered to be the world's third largest retailer, Tesco has a global services arm called the Tesco Hindustan Service Centre' that operates in Bangalore, India and is described as being at the "heart" of the Tesco group.

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Tesco HSC's job is to "design, develop, test, and manage some of Tesco's mission IT critical applications". It is also responsible for paying suppliers, maintaining accounts and providing management reports.

Tesco HSC also hosts and protects corporate data in more than 3,200 Tesco stores in 12 countries, including the US and Ireland.

Recently, Tesco's global management decided that its security systems were straining its IT because it all came from a range of vendors, with a mix of firewall and antivirus software deployed on different servers and desktops.

Tesco HSC was assigned the responsibility of running office and network security, to help fix the problem. It evaluated security solutions from Check Point, Cisco and Fortinet.

Eventually it selected the enterprise-class network security platform from Fortinet, which offers a firewall, intrusion prevention, antivirus, anti-spam and web content filtering all in one package.

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Ratnham said that as the hub of Tesco's network security operations, they needed security, monitoring and management systems to be tightly integrated.

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He added Tesco needed "accurate, timely and detailed feedback", and the ability to change the configuration of remote systems in response to incidents as they occurred.

With the help of system integrator Wipro Infotech, they used Fortinet's Fortigate-1000 and Fortigate-500 enterprise-class network security appliances.

This also included appliances which logged and analysed security event data and a central management system, all based at Tesco HSC's facility in Bangalore.

"The other vendors that we evaluated either did not have the range of security and management features that we wanted, or they lacked the tight integration between their products," said Sridhar Rathnam, director of IT services at Tesco, in a statement.

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